Korn Ferry Challenge: Golf Picks and Predictions

Brett Coletta of Australia. Jeff Gross/Getty Images/AFP

The Korn Ferry Tour moves on to Colorado this week for the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes, a course used for the first time last season. That event was won by Nelson Ledesma from Argentina who beat Australian Brett Coletta into second place.

Unusually, the TPC Colorado adjoins three reservoirs: Lonetree, McNeil, and Welch bringing magnificent lake and mountain views from the pristine acres. The course seems long yardage compared to normal but is set at an altitude of 5000 meters above sea level that means the ball flies approximately 6% further so that can be reduced accordingly.

That said, it is an eclectic mix of drivable par 4s with long par 5s (longest 773 yards) and par 3s (longest 278 yards).

TPC Colorado Championship

July 1-4 at Heron Lakes, Loveland

7991 yards, par 72

What Type of Player Will Excel at Heron Lakes?

Difficult to be conclusive on one year’s evidence but long-hitting Australian, Brett Coletta occupying the runner up spot makes me believe long hitters are not prejudiced against. Interestingly, Coletta had his best performance of 2020 two weeks ago at the King and Bear Classic where he eventually finished 14th after taking the first-round lead with a 63. That is the encouragement we need to back the Australian to land his first Korn Ferry Tour title.

While discussing long hitters it would be remiss not to mention the chance of Jared Wolfe winning this week after springing back to form at the King and Bear Classic with a 6th place finish. He began the year in style winning the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic and is a proven winner on the South American tour. He is my idea of the winner this week in Colorado. Pick him at the top sportsbooks like BetOnline.

Jared Wolfe. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Lee Hodges is a player I’ve mentioned and tipped in recent tournaments having won a small tournament on Sea Island just before the tour’s resumption. He has played with great credit in that time, finishing 6th at Sawgrass followed by another solid performance last week in the Utah Championship. Before the enforced break he looked on the verge of a first Korn Ferry Tour win when he came 3rd at the Panama Championship. He has a strong look this week and worthy of support in win and place markets.

Braden Thornberry looked set for a glittering career when on his first professional tournament as an amateur he managed a 4th place finish at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2017. Things haven’t panned out as expected for the twenty-three-year-old from Mississippi but sometimes what seems a backward step is a professional gaining enough self-confidence and experience so his career will flourish later. The signs are that Thornberry is starting to fit the pieces in the right place of the puzzle since the tour resumption with progressive performances at the King & Bear Classic and the Utah Championship. Last year the TPC Colorado Championship was one of two top 10 finishes and that experience will be helpful as he searches for a first Korn Ferry Tour title this week.

A solid reliable veteran of America’s second Tier tour is South African Dawie Van Der Walt. A winner twice on tour in 2015 at the Chile Classic and Price Cutter Charity Championship he is a perpetual journeyman and grinder who has started the tour resumption in the same vein with consecutive top 30 finishes. He played eye-catchingly well here last year when finishing third and ranks 60th in Driving Distance and Accuracy. A solid look for match bets and top 10 finish markets.

Another interesting journeyman professional is Erik Barnes who only a few weeks ago was stacking shelves at his local supermarket through the night to earn money to support his family throughout the pandemic. He even managed to play events on the minor tours between shifts with success. He was 7th at Heron Lakes last year and last week in the Utah Championship played well on his first start since the Korn Ferry Tour resumption. The thirty-two year could be the sort who will be a late bloomer on tour having served a seven-year apprenticeship and the time could be soon. For betting purposes like Van Der Walt, he is a solid bet in all place and match bets.

Korn Ferry Tour Picks

Brett Coletta+10000
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Jared Wolfe+8000
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Braden Thornberry +6600
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Extra Picks:

  • Erik Barnes – Top 10 @ on request
  • Dawie Van Der Walt – Top 10 @ on request